Mel Gibson unzipped

Local band Mel Gibson and the Pants celebrate the release of their latest ‘Sea vs. Shining Sea’

Megan Kadrmas

Despite what their name may sound like, Mel Gibson and the Pants is rarely as comical or light-hearted (or anti-Semitic) as their title may imply.

On their third album, the Twin Cities group delves further into a blended sound that has attracted listeners and lovers of both intelligent hip-hop and minimalist rock.

Mel Gibson and the Pants
ALBUM: “Sea vs. Shining Sea”
LABEL: Totally Gross National Product

The album, “Sea vs. Shining Sea,” highlights the battle of these two seemingly conflicting genres and offers, perhaps, a resolution to the conflict.

MG and the Pants blends warm Pacific water with its colder Atlantic counterpart to create a sound that has received acclaim in local rock and hip-hop circles.

“Sea vs. Shining Sea” release party
WHEN: 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: 7th Street Entry, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis
TICKETS: $6, early all-ages, late 21-plus, www.first-avenue.com

They were “Picked to Click” by City Pages, but, as beat-master Ryan Olson put it, they don’t really care what the critics think.

“City Pages panned our last album, but it sold way better than our first album, which they praised,” Olson said. “I don’t know how much A-Listing and whatever the hell City Pages matters.”

The hype around MG and the Pants has not changed their formula of guitars, drums, keyboard, synthetic beats and rap.

This combination, Olson said, has gone unnoticed by diehard hip-hop aficionados but has helped to draw an audience of basically everyone but these hip-hop purists.

“People that are hip-hop heads and shit don’t really care about our band,” he said. “I think we’re out of their traditional scope.”

The group teamed up with a bevy of guest artists on “Sea vs. Shining Sea.” These collaborations reflect the group’s talent for genre-blending.

Hip-hop collective Doomtree lends recording artists Dessa, Mictlan and Sims to the album. They appear alongside Crescent Moon of hip-hop group Kill the Vultures and Jake Luck of laidback rockers Thunder in the Valley.

The guests bring their own sounds and ideas to the album, which reflects the already organic collaboration of the group.

Olson said his band does not start from a hip-hop sound and add in rock elements, or vice versa. They simply work like any other six-piece group, each bringing their own experiences to the creative table.

All of the guests will be at the release show, perhaps compensating for the fact that keyboardist Eric Busse is in South Korea and will not be home in time for the release.

“He’s doing slave labor to pay off our debts,” Olson joked.

After the shows, MG and the Pants will take a break until fall. Guitar player Riley Hartnett is heading to Argentina for five months, Olson said.

The remaining members will preoccupy themselves with other projects, Olson said, including his other bands Digitata and Building Better Bombs.